Dairy Farmers of Canada

Lentil & Zucchini Risotto

The flavours are oozing in this Risotto, just like the Canadian Aged Cheddar. Delicious as a side dish or main course, it will be a favourite all year long. The zucchini pesto makes a unique addition to this dish.

Created by Chef Ned Bell, Executive Chef.

  • Prep: 30 min
  • Cooking: 30 min
Yields 4 Servings
lentil zucchini risotto


  • Zucchini Pesto
  • 2 cups (500 mL) green zucchini grated and seeded
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) Natural Pastures' Aged Farmhouse or Canadian Aged Cheddar shredded
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) toasted pine nuts or walnuts optional
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) lemon zest grated
  • 1 1/2 tbsp (22 mL) fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) cracked black pepper
  • Risotto
  • 4 cups (1 L) vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) butter divided
  • 1 shallot diced
  • 1 cup (250 mL) Arborio rice
  • Sea Salt to taste
  • 1/3 cup (80 mL) white wine
  • 1 can (540 mL) canned lentils drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup (250 mL) small yellow zucchini diced and seeded
  • 3/4 cup (180 mL) Natural Pastures' Aged Farmhouse or Canadian Cheddar divided
  • 3 tbsp (45 mL) chives chopped and divided
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Zucchini Pesto:

In a food processor, combine zucchini, cheese, nuts, lemon zest and juice, salt and pepper; process until smooth but not a complete puree for texture.


In a medium saucepan, bring broth to a simmer; keep warm.

In a large shallow pot or deep skillet, melt 1 tbsp (15 mL) of the butter over medium heat; sauté shallot for 1 minute. Stir in rice and salt; sauté for 1 minute. Add wine and cook until absorbed.

Add ½ cup (125 mL) of the broth, stirring until most is absorbed. Add more broth, ½ cup (125 mL) at a time, stirring until broth is absorbed before making the next addition, until you have added a total of 3 cups (750 mL) of broth.

Stir in lentils and continue to add remaining broth, ½ cup (125 mL) at a time. Simmer, stirring until rice is tender and creamy and slightly firm to the bite, adding additional broth or water if necessary. Season to taste with salt.

Stir in yellow zucchini and cook stirring until heated through, about 1 minute. Remove from heat, stir in half ½ cup (125 mL) of the cheese, half of the chives and remaining butter. Serve with Zucchini Pesto and sprinkled with remaining cheese and chives.


For seafood lovers, add sustainable seafood to risotto (Spot Prawns, halibut or wild salmon).

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Nutritional information

Per serving
Energy: 471 Calories
Protein: 19 g
Carbohydrate: 65 g
Fat: 14 g
Fibre: 10.3 g
Sodium: 1091 mg

Top 5 Nutrients

(% DV*)
Calcium: 17 % / 191 mg
Folate: 148 %
Iron: 43 %
Selenium: 34 %
Thiamin: 41 %